Our weekly round-up of public service media related stories and headlines from around the world.

As the global Covid-19 pandemic continues and many countries enter a state of lockdown, the need for community solidarity and mutual support has never been greater. But this support requires quality, fact-checked and evidence based news and information.

With this in mind, the Public Media Alliance has compiled an extensive and growing resources featuring recommended tools, advice and sources for journalists and the public alike. The resources can be found via the link below or in the ‘Tools’ section of our website.

The resource will be frequently updated to reflect the changing needs and evolving situation. If you have any recommendations, please let us know.

We also want to hear about your local public media coverage! Email us!

As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, public media are rapidly adapting to best cover the crisis on a local level while also providing for educational needs and vulnerable groups as isolation policies are introduced.

We want to hear from our members about what you are doing to best cover the crisis on a local level. Email us using the link below.

Coronavirus: Resources & best practices

Essential resources for sourcing and reporting news about the coronavirus pandemic

What we're listening to...

Maria Ressa and an attack on the free press in the Philippines 

The Guardian: One of the most prominent journalists in the Philippines has been convicted of ‘cyberlibel’ in a court process condemned by human rights groups. Journalist Carmela Fonbuena in Manila describes the chilling effect the verdict has had on free expression

Black journalists in Germany (German)

Deutschlandfunk: In Germany, about a quarter of the population has a migration background. However, this diversity is not represented in German media houses. At the conference for digital youth culture “TinCon” this problem was discussed with various journalists.

What we're watching...

Reduction of advertising screens: the management of RTBF worries, the Inspectorate of Finance doubtful (French)

RTBF: Soon less publicity on RTBF. A dream for some, a nightmare for others. The project is in any case included in the legislative program of the government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, and the 1st decisions could take place during the Council of Ministers this morning.

Global Headlines

Click on the tab menu below to reveal the latest regional stories.

EGYPT: Weaponised censorship: The final demise of free expression in Egypt’s media

The New Arab: Egypt has censored all independent reporting on sensitive political topics, with journalists and social media users only allowed to communicate the official narrative.

ETHIOPIA: CPJ condemns Ethiopian internet shutdown and Oromia Media Network raid (Statement)

CPJ: In response to a nationwide internet shutdown in Ethiopia and a police raid on the Oromia Media Network, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement…

MALAWI: Newly Elected President Dissolves Board Of MACRA And MBC

Via Broadcast Media Africa: Malawi’s newly elected president, Mr Lazarus Chakwera, has announced the dissolution of the board of directors of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and that of the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA). The dissolution order is effective immediately.

NIGERIA: BAN Asks NBC To Suspend New Broadcasting Code

Channels TV: The Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (IBAN) has asked the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to suspend the implementation of the amended 6th broadcasting code.

NIGERIA: Govt To Cancel 60% Of Debt Owed By Licensed Radio And TV Stations

Via All Africa: The Nigerian government is reported to have approved a debt forgiveness plan of up 60 per cent of what is owed to the National Broadcasting Commission of Nigeria by its licensed radio and television houses.

SOMALIA: Already 20 journalists arrested in the first half of 2020 (Call Out)

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RF) calls on the Somali federal authorities to quickly declare a moratorium on arrests of journalists, which have surged in recent weeks. 

SOUTH AFRICA: ANC warns SABC not to cut jobs because it will embarrass the party, cost it votes during elections

News 24: The party wants the public broadcaster to stop its retrenchment process, but if it cannot significantly cut costs somewhere else, it will not be able to pay salaries

SOUTH AFRICA: Covid-19 impact: Sanef announces launch of relief fund for journalists (Statement)

Business Maverick: The impact of Covid-19 has been instant and severe. The media has not been spared, with the industry shrinking at a time of great need for robust journalism. On Thursday, the SA National Editors’ Forum launched a relief fund for journalists who have lost jobs and income over the past months of the Covid pandemic.

SOUTH AFRICA: Ruling Party Urges SABC To Shelve Retrenchment Plans

Via Broadcast Media Africa: According to local reports, the ruling African National Congress in South Africa is asking the country’s public broadcaster – SABC – not to proceed with its plan to cut what the management of the SABC sees as a bloated work-force.

SOUTH AFRICA: Unions representing SABC employees threaten to approach court over retrenchments

SABC: Organised labour at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is threatening to approach the courts after the public broadcaster ignored a letter of demand in respect of the retrenchment process.

TANZANIA: Media too need a helping hand to get through the pandemic (Opinion)

The Daily Nation: In the past few months, we have seen leading media houses in Kenya cut salaries and lay off staff, citing dwindling revenue as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

GENERAL: The ‘new normal’ and its immediate impact on the radio industry

The Media Online: The eleventh edition of the largest radio conference in Africa kicked off with a bang today, with attendees from Kenya, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa and more forming part of its new digital format and soaking up the discussion around how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the radio landscape to date.

BANGLADESH: Increase in charges under DSA as government seeks to silence criticism

Article 19: Article19 expresses grave concern at the recent spate of charges and arrests under the Digital Security Act (DSA) 2018 for comments on social media. 

CAMBODIA: Cambodia’s Use of Incitement Law Chills Press Freedom

VOA: Cambodia’s use of incitement laws to jail journalists sends a threatening message to news outlets and could result in self-censorship, media experts say.

CHINA & US: China asks US media to submit information about their work

The Guardian: AP, CBS, UPI and NPR asked to send government details of their operations in seven days

CHINA & UK: UK watchdog considers sanctions against Chinese broadcaster for airing alleged forced confession

AFP: British broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said on Monday it was considering sanctions against China’s state broadcaster for airing an alleged forced confession by a UK national.

HONG KONG: Former CE Office aide to head RTHK review panel 

RTHK: The government announced on Monday that a former Permanent Secretary of the Chief Executive’s Office, Jessie Ting, will spearhead a team that is to review the governance and management of RTHK.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong press freedom assured if media give 100% guarantee they will not commit security offences, says Lam 

HKFP: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said she will give guarantees about press freedom to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club [FCC] if they also give “a 100% guarantee that they will not commit any offences under this piece of national legislation.”

HONG KONG: When will they come for journalists?: Hong Kong press freedom under the new national security law (Opinion)

HKFP: As June turned to July and the first half of the year comes to a close, a dark cloud has come down over Hong Kong. Beijing has passed its national security law. Journalists were already worried about the prospect of the law. The Hong Kong Journalists Association released the results of a survey on June 19 showing that a large majority of media staffers in the city were already nervous about what the results would be, even before seeing the draft of the law.

INDIA: Prasar Bharati-PTI controversy: Press club says Centre seems to be trying to ‘dismember’ news agency

Scroll.in: The Press Club of India described Prasar Bharati’s move as ‘preposterous’ and ‘unacceptable’.

INDIA: Prasar Bharati sets up recruitment board

Hindustan Times: Three decades after its was set up, public broadcaster Prasar Bharati finally managed to form its own recruitment board that would address hiring needs. According to an official order, Jagdish Upasane, who is director of Bharat Prakashan , would be the first chairperson of the six member Prasar Bharati Recruitment Board (PBRB).

INDIA: Prasar Bharati to get five new board members

Hindustan Times: According to the Prasar Bharati Act, there can be six part-time members on the board apart from other ex-officio members.

JAPAN: NHK Management Committee and “Kanpo”: Need full disclosure of minutes and explanation (Editorial – Japanese)

Mainichi Shimbun: The suspicions of violating the broadcasting law have grown stronger regarding the problem that executives of the management committee have criticized NHK programs that have pursued fraud in Japan Post Insurance.

KAZAKHSTAN: Kazakhstan Decriminalizes Defamation, Keeps Hindering Free Media 

The Diplomat: Hailed as a step in the right direction, the decriminalization of defamation is still not enough to relieve pressure from the press. 

KYRGYZSTAN: Reaktsiya 3.0: Kyrgyz Protest Internet Censorship Bill 

The Diplomat: Will protests be enough to convince Kyrgyzstan’s president to veto a bill that would restrict freedom of speech online?

MALAYSIA: Media groups: Contempt case against Malaysiakini a form of intimidation, to impact press freedom

Malay Mail: The Federal Court’s decision to hear contempt of court proceedings against Malaysiakini over its readers’ comments is yet another challenge for the already-struggling media industry here, Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) said today.

NEPAL: DNA test confirms death of missing journalist Tej Bahadur Khadka

IFJ: A DNA test confirmed a body found in November 2019 matched that of Tej Bahadur Khadka, a Bajura-based Radio Budhinanda journalist who went missing on August 27, 2018.

PAKISTAN: Actions against Press Freedom: Bilawal, Shujaat, Fazl express concern

The News International: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President and former prime minister Ch Shujat Hussain has written to Prime Minister Imran Khan wherein he has stated that the information minister be directed to sit with TV channel owners and sort out issues because distance with media is causing loss to the PM.

PAKISTAN: In Pakistan, a bizarre arrest shows how media freedom is being squeezed (Opinion)

Washington Post: The country’s most prominent media owner-editor is detained and incarcerated. The image-conscious prime minister ignores a letter from United Nations officials about the detention, which Time magazine lists among the “10 ‘Most Urgent’ Cases of Threats to Press Freedom in the Age of Coronavirus.” The media tycoon is held for over 100 days without charge; five bail hearings are postponed, and the bench assigned to hear his case is changed three times in as many months.

PAKISTAN: Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s bail plea hearing adjourned till July 8

Geo News: The hearing of Jang/Geo Media Group’s Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was postponed till Wednesday, July 8. The veteran journalist has been illegally arrested in a concocted case relating to a property transaction that took place 34 years ago. 

PAKISTAN: Protest for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s release continues

The News International: The countrywide protests by the Geo and Jang Group workers against the illegal arrest of Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman and the stringent curbs against media freedom entered 113th day on Saturday.

PHILIPPINES: Philippine president approves widely opposed anti-terror law

Aljazeera: Law grants security forces powers to fight armed groups, but critics say it could threaten legitimate dissent.

PHILIPPINES: Maria Ressa and an attack on the free press in the Philippines (Listen)

The Guardian: One of the most prominent journalists in the Philippines has been convicted of ‘cyberlibel’ in a court process condemned by human rights groups. Journalist Carmela Fonbuena in Manila describes the chilling effect the verdict has had on free expression

PHILIPPINES: New ban on Philippines’ top broadcaster fuels press freedom worries

Reuters: The Philippines’ top broadcaster ABS-CBN Corp was ordered to stop transmitting satellite and digital television on Tuesday just weeks after its free TV and radio operations were halted, adding to worries over press freedom.

PHILIPPINES: NTC shuts down ABS-CBN’s Sky Direct, TV Plus channels

Rappler: The National Telecommunications Commission delivers fresh blows against media giant ABS-CBN, further limiting its audience reach

SOUTH KOREA: KBS announces management innovation… “Create a sleek and resilient organization” (Korean)

KBS: KBS announced a management innovation plan that aims to reduce the proportion of labor costs and redesign the organization.

SOUTH KOREA: KBS Viewers Participation Project (Korean)

KBS: Listen to the changes in life that viewers experience and the stories behind it. In order to discover the social agenda that the broadcast should address, KBS will hold a video contest for the public in accordance with the week of viewers. Being promoted as one of KBS viewer participation projects.

AUSTRALIA: ABC voice for diversity in line for redundancy as broadcaster makes $41m in cuts

The Guardian: An executive who has championed diversity at the ABC has had her role abolished in the broadcaster’s $41m cuts to staff and programs. Andrea Ho, the head of planning for the regional and local division, told Weekly Beast she could not comment on her redundancy, but “improving diversity and inclusion in ABC content and people has been one part of my professional remit”.

AUSTRALIA: Australia Faces its Own Reckoning Over Diversity in Media

The New York Times: The Black Lives Matter movement has inspired Australians to examine issues of race in our own country. 

AUSTRALIA: Australian federal police ask prosecutors to consider charges against ABC journalist

The Guardian: Prosecutors receive brief of evidence relating to the ABC’s reporting on alleged war crimes by Australian forces in Afghanistan

AUSTRALIA: Journalists insist possible prosecution of ABC reporter must be dropped

IFEX: The police recommended that charges should be considered against ABC journalist Dan Oakes for stories 

AUSTRALIA: SBS Melbourne office closed following positive COVID-19 case

SBS: The public broadcaster has officially closed its Federation Square bureau to allow for further contact tracing.

AUSTRALIA: Statement from SBS Managing Director, James Taylor: SBS stands opposed to any form of racism or exclusion 

SBS: I’ve been shocked and saddened by accounts of racism experienced at SBS. SBS stands opposed to any form of racism or exclusion. It can take many overt and less overt forms, none of which are acceptable. Racism is abhorrent and I am committed to ensuring it has no place at SBS.

COOK ISLANDS: Cook Islands Speaker rules against banning political journalist

Asia Pacific Report: Parliament’s Speaker Niki Rattle has ruled against banning Cook Islands News political editor Rashneel Kumar from reporting on Parliament. The unopposed motion put forward by Prime Minister Henry Puna was regarding the article titled “MPs seek allowance top-ups in downturn”.

NEW ZEALAND: Government announces film and TV sector recovery package

RNZ: The government has unveiled its screen sector recovery package to protect jobs and investment in New Zealand productions in the wake of Covid-19.

NEW ZEALAND: RNZ Mediawatch: Forcing the issue of race at the Herald

Asia Pacific Report: On Monday, the New Zealand Herald carried a surprising headline: ‘Why I found it so hard writing about racism in New Zealand for the Herald’. In the column, freelance journalist Teuila Fuatai detailed her concerns about the Herald’s record on race and her efforts to raise those with her editors.

NEW ZEALAND: Stuff closure of social media accounts about trust, editor says (Listen)

RNZ: News website Stuff is suspending all of its activity on Facebook and Instagram until further notice.

NEW ZEALAND: Team NZ and NZME go head-to-head in court over report

RNZ: It marks the latest chapter in a saga that has evolved since allegations of spying and misappropriated funds surfaced last week. Media company NZME has obtained a copy of a report into Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and America’s Cup Events (ACE) by forensic accountancy firm Beattie Varley.

PAPUA: Webinar panel on Papua sharply divided over media ‘black hole’

Asia Pacific Report: A senior Indonesian government official and a New Zealand journalism professor have clashed over differing perspectives on access for journalists and media to the West Papua region.

REGIONAL: Podcasting during a pandemic

ABC: One positive to come out of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 could be the emergence of more sports podcasts made by women in the Asia-Pacific.

AUSTRIA: New ORF law and funding for media are coming (German)

Kurier: The government has made extensive plans. Details of the ORF player are still being negotiated.

AUSTRIA: “Promoting Democratically Relevant Media Quality”: Study on the Value of Non-Commercial Broadcasters (German)

Der Standard: The Academy of Sciences examined the public value of community channels.

BELARUS: Belarus Media Arrests Are Sign of Election Crackdown, Experts Say

VOA: As President Alexander Lukashenko prepares for what experts say could be his stiffest election challenge yet, Belarusian authorities have detained at least 20 journalists and bloggers. 

BELGIUM: In financial difficulty, RTL becomes Belgian again to benefit from public aid (French – Paywall)

Le Soir: It is the end of a 15-year legal and political saga. In order to benefit from the assistance of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, RTL agrees to be regulated again in Belgium and no longer in Luxembourg.

BELGIUM: Reduction of advertising screens: the management of RTBF worries, the Inspectorate of Finance doubtful (French – Watch)

RTBF: Soon less publicity on RTBF. A dream for some, a nightmare for others. The project is in any case included in the legislative program of the government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, and the 1st decisions could take place during the Council of Ministers this morning.

BELGIUM: What is the impact of corona on radio and television? (Dutch) 

VRT: Els Van de Sijpe (manager radio) and Olivier Goris (network manager One and Canvas) share their personal reflections during one of the most drastic periods of the last decades.

BULGARIA: Bulgarian authorities ignore death threats against anti-corruption reporter 

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Bulgarian authorities to conduct a thorough and independent probe into the threats received by investigative reporter Nikolay Staykov after he released a documentary about a corruption affair allegedly involving state institutions. RSF demands that Staykov be granted immediate police protection.

CROATIA: Croatian PM Accused of ‘Shameful’ Accusations Against Journalist

Balkan Insight: Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic was criticised for accusing a well-known journalist at the Croatian public broadcaster of helping his political rival to prepare for a televised pre-election debate.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Survey: Eight out of ten people are charged for financing Czech Television and Czech Radio (Czech)

Česká Televize: Eight out of ten people agree with the financing of Czech Television (ČT) and Czech Radio (ČRo) in the form of concession fees. A similar proportion perceives their current level as reasonable or low. According to more than 60 percent of people, funding public media from the state budget would limit their independence.

DENMARK: Netflix’s Exclusive Deal For Denmark’s Borgen Could Upset International Sharing Agreements With Broadcasters

Forbes: Netflix has become so big that it needs to invest in local markets to maintain growth and market share. It just inked a deal with Danish Radio (DR), Denmark’s public broadcaster to fund the development of a 4th season of the smash hit Borgen (The Castle), revived after 7 years. 

FRANCE: The appointment of the mediator. Summer grids on Franceinfo (French)

France Info: Last meeting of the season, after the assessment of last week, we are talking today about the prospects and in particular, the summer schedule on Franceinfo. Vincent Giret, director of franceinfo details the summer programs and news on the channel.

GERMANY: Black journalists in Germany (German – Listen)

Deutschlandfunk: In Germany, about a quarter of the population has a migration background. However, this diversity is not represented in German media houses. At the conference for digital youth culture “TinCon” this problem was discussed with various journalists.

GERMANY: “Corona update with Christian Drosten” soon under Creative Commons (German)

ARD: ARD chairman Tom Buhrow: “CC licenses are another building block when it comes to making content as easy and permanent as possible for everyone”

GERMANY: “Word change – language without racism” (German)

Deutschlandradio: Six-part series of interviews from 6 to 11 July in the Deutschlandfunk Kultur program

GEORGIA: Parliament Elects Three Members of Georgian Public TV Board

Civil.ge: On July 1, the Parliament endorsed three nominations to fill the vacant seats on the board of trustees of the Georgian Public Broadcaster, a state-financed media outlet.

HUNGARY: EU executive expresses concern over Hungary’s media freedom

Reuters: A senior European Commission official has expressed concern for the independence of Index.hu, one of Hungary’s last major independent news websites and a leading critic of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government.

NETHERLANDS: NPO, RTL see growth in OTT video users during coronavirus lockdown (Paywall)

Telecompaper: The coronavirus crisis has led to a 25 percent increase in users of the OTT video service NPO Start. Viewing time has increased even more, up by 35 percent, according to the public broadcaster.

NETHERLANDS: NPO and broadcasters present ‘The Netherlands against racism’

NPO: The Dutch Public Broadcaster stands up against racism during a joint theme day on Sunday 12 July. NPO and the broadcasters present on TV, radio and online numerous programs that focus on the current discussion about racism and other forms of exclusion, worldwide.  

RUSSIA: Russian Journalist Convicted of ‘Justifying Terrorism’ 

VOA: A Russian court has found a journalist guilty of “justifying terrorism” — but issued a fine rather than imprisonment in a closely watched case with implications for press freedoms in Russia. 

RUSSIA: The Russian authorities should remedy the long-standing problem of undue restrictions to freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and press freedom (Statement)

Council of Europe: “The detention of 19 people, including journalists, in Moscow and Pskov on Friday and the verdict against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva today reflect once again the urgency to overhaul legislation governing freedom of assembly and of expression, as well as anti-terrorism and anti-extremism legislation in the Russian Federation”, said today Dunja Mijatović, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

SWEDEN: The “summer open” has been a key word when we planned the radio summer 2020 (Swedish – blog)

Sveriges Radio: We are going to keep reporting on corona, we will offer an opportunity to “take time off” from corona and of course we will give the audience their beloved camp fires, such as Summer in P1 and P3 Documentary, as usual. It has been the most important thing for us when we plan the radio summer 2020. This is written by Deputy Program Director Cajsa Lindberg.

SWEDEN: Young people turn to traditional news media in times of crisis (Swedish)

SVT: According to Nordicom’s media barometer presented on May 29, news consumption generally increases for traditional media, ie. SVT, SR, TV4, morning newspaper and evening newspaper. One of the biggest increases was in the 15-24 age group, where news consumption in traditional media has increased from 49 percent to 59 percent between 2019 and February-April 2020.

SWEDEN: Thank you for your trust in a different time (Swedish – blog)

SVT: In recent months, the world and Sweden have been through a difficult crisis. A virus has turned everyday life in and out. People have become seriously ill. Relatives, friends and acquaintances have lost their lives. Many have suddenly become unemployed. Others have more jobs than ever and work under hard pressure. Some see their life’s work go bankrupt. The entertainment taken for granted – socializing with family and friends, traveling, partying and restaurant visits are limited. No one in the country is unaffected.

UK: BBC announces cuts to English regional TV, radio and online output

BBC News: The BBC is to cut 450 jobs in its English regional TV news and current affairs, local radio and online news.

UK: Coronavirus: BBC emerges as the UK’s clear favourite information source in new audience survey

The Conversation: News media have been especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as good quality information has literally become “a matter of life and death”.

UK: One in six jobs to go as BBC cuts 450 staff from regional programmes

The Guardian: The BBC is to make 450 staff working on its regional programmes in England redundant as part of cost-cutting measures which will see many well-known local television and radio presenters lose their jobs.

UK: People of Colour IoM criticise Manx Radio in open letter

Manx Radio: A local campaign group has accused Manx Radio of ‘failing to address systemic racism’ following its handling of allegations made against one of its presenters. The station was cleared by the Communications Commission of an alleged breach of broadcasting rules, and reinstated Late Show host Stu Peters, who went back on air this week.

UK: U.K. Broadcasters, Equity Drafting Guidance for Increased Coronavirus Testing for Cast, Crews

Variety: U.K. broadcasters BBC, ITV and Sky, in association with actors’ union Equity, are drafting enhanced guidance around COVID-19 testing and new standards for close contact among actors, Variety has learned.

REGIONAL: Fresh attacks worsen climate of hostility against journalists covering protests across Europe (Statement) 

EFJ: The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners have raised further concerns about continued violence against journalists covering protests and demonstrations across European Union (EU) Member States and Candidates in 2020. The group calls for increased protection, police training and oversight, as well as broader respect for media freedom. 

REGIONAL: Pandemic Worsens Crisis For Media In Central, Eastern Europe (Report)

Balkan Insight: New report says COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the climate for media freedom in nine regional countries, limiting the media’s access to information and devastating their advertising revenue.

BRAZIL: Public note: censorship in SBT is a serious violation of the right to communication (Portuguese)

FENAJ: Despite being a private group, SBT operates a television channel that is a public concession and, therefore, is subject to the fulfillment of very clear legal obligations. The information that the main SBT newscast, SBT Brasil, was banned in this Saturday’s edition (23 May), is extremely serious. 

COLOMBIA: 20 years of impunity for those responsible for the crimes of Jineth Bedoya Lima (Spanish)

FLIP: For 20 years, journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima has fought tirelessly to access justice in relation to the facts of kidnapping, torture and sexual violence of which she was a victim on May 25, 2000. The few advances are the result of her struggle as Victim and two decades are a sufficient period for the State to investigate, prosecute, and punish those responsible, however in this case impunity persists. 

ECUADOR: Executive proposes that only three public media remain after the purge (Spanish)

El Universo: From 2013 to 2019 the company Public Media received government contributions of about $ 184 million. In that period there was no year that generated a return.

ECUADOR: Workers protest the closure of public companies in Ecuador due to the crisis (Spanish)

CNN: Dozens of workers at seven public companies in Ecuador that will be liquidated by the government, due to the economic crisis deepened by the coronavirus, have come to protest daily since Wednesday… including workers at the country’s public broadcaster. 

EL SALVADOR: Government of El Salvador attacks institutionality and freedom of the press, according to the US (Spanish)

ESlavador.com: A State Department document sent to the United States Congress authorizes continued cooperation with El Salvador, but warns of dangerous conduct for the rule of law.

HAITI: ‘Never-Ending Battle’ for Press Rights in Haiti

VOA: Violent protests in which journalists were injured, attempts to intimidate or threaten reporters investigating wrongdoing, and the killing of a radio journalist have damaged Haiti’s press freedom credentials. Haiti experienced the single largest decline for press freedom in the Reporters Without Borders 2020 Press Freedom Index.

MEXICO: Mexican newspaper owner Jorge Armenta shot and killed in Sonora

CPJ: At about 2 p.m. on May 16, a group of unidentified men opened fire on journalist Jorge Miguel Armenta Ávalos and two police officers who accompanied him as bodyguards while they were leaving a restaurant in the town of Cajeme, in the northern Mexican state of Sonora, according to news reports. Armenta and one of the police officers died at the scene, and a second officer was rushed to a hospital and is in serious condition. 

VENEZUELA: Censorship scandal in Venezuela by Nicolás Maduro: 200 media closed since 2004 (Spanish)

Nuevo Dia: The departure of DirecTV from the country led by Nicolás Maduro again exposed the president’s censorship practices against journalism, which closed radios, television channels, newspapers, and news sites.

REGIONAL: Press Freedom Under Attack in Latin America, Experts Say (Watch)

VOA: Latin American leaders are trying to discredit journalists by accusing them of disseminating fake news or being elitist and out of touch, media rights experts say.

GENERAL: COVID-19 pandemic forces Latin American journalism professors to adapt curriculum and learning tools to teaching online

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Latin America reported its first case of COVID-19 in late February, a timeframe that coincided with the start of the academic year. The global pandemic took universities by surprise, and journalism professors across the region were called to adapt to it. With the suspension of in-person classes, many journalism professors migrated their courses to online platforms since there was no short-term prospect of returning to the classrooms.

GENERAL: ‘Women, Power and Media:’ New online course on newsroom leadership offered by Knight Center and Chicas Poderosas. (Opportunity)

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: The Knight Center and Chicas Poderosas are teaming up for a free massive online course in Spanish on leadership for women in media and journalism. The six-week course, “Women, Power and Media: A Leadership Course for Journalists” (Mujer, Poder y Medios: un curso de liderazgo para periodistas), runs from June 22 to Aug. 2, 2020. Registration is open now!

IRAN: Iran sentences journalist Ruhollah Zam to death

The Guardian: Iran has sentenced to death a journalist whose online work helped inspire nationwide economic protests in 2017. Ruhollah Zam had returned to Iran under unclear circumstances and was subsequently arrested. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili announced Zam’s sentence on Tuesday.

LEBANON: Freedom of expression is under threat in Lebanon

Middle East Monitor: Since October last year, Lebanon’s police and security forces have investigated or detained more than 100 civil rights activists in what Human Rights Watch (HRW) has termed a “spate of free speech prosecutions”. 

LEBANON: Judge who ordered media ban on US envoy resigns

Middle East Monitor: The Lebanese judge who banned local and foreign journalists working in the country from publishing comments made by the US ambassador resigned yesterday after he was referred to a judicial inspection board over the order, state media reports.

PALESTINE: For Palestinian journalists, violent attacks by Israeli forces come with the job

Middle East Eye: Violations against reporters, including physical assaults and arrests, have increased in recent months, especially in occupied Jerusalem.

SAUDI ARABIA & TURKEY: Jamal Khashoggi murder: Turkey puts 20 Saudis on trial in absentia

BBC News: Twenty Saudi nationals have gone on trial in absentia in Turkey for the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

SYRIA: How Journalists in Syria Track COVID-19 in a Sea of Misinformation

CMDS@CEU: Panic and misinformation make it hard for journalists to get the correct information in Syria, where the government retains a firm grip on the media. Nevertheless, some of them found methods, unused before, to keep track of the cases.

SYRIA: Syrian journalist threatened by Assad supporters in Kuala Lumpur

RSF: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned for the safety of a Syrian journalist living in self-imposed exile in Malaysia who is being threatened by Syrian activists loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and who, at the same time, is facing possible expulsion because he cannot renew his expired residence permit.

TURKEY: Alarming plans to further crackdown on social media

Article 19: Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners are alarmed by the Turkish President’s threats to further restrict or shut down social media. We call on Turkey to comply with its international obligations and refrain from measures that will further prevent and disrupt exercising the right to freedom of expression and information online.

TURKEY: Broadcasting bans on critical Turkish outlets rise amid free press concerns 

Arab News: Turkey’s media watchdog has put a five-day ban on broadcasts from two opposition news channels. 

YEMEN: Report: 66 violations of media freedoms committed in Yemen 

Middle East Monitor: The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate announced on Saturday that it had documented 66 violations committed against press freedoms in the country during the first six months of this year.

CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada programming updates – July 3

CBC/Radio-Canada: To help Canadians through the current COVID-19 situation, CBC/Radio-Canada is delivering special access to content across all of its platforms, including trusted news and information to stay informed, educational resources for kids and parents, and a wide variety of programming to keep Canadians entertained when they need a break.

CANADA: Data gaps, social media and pre-published studies: The new era of pandemic reporting

Toronto Observer: Some of Canada’s most skilled health reporters find themselves in new territory when it comes to covering COVID-19. 

CANADA: Lobby Wrap: News Media Canada lobbying on compensation rights

iPolitics: News Media Canada has been vocal in its call for more robust support from Ottawa to help the industry weather the COVID-19 pandemic and address longer term structural issues, as more and more media outlets move away from a reliance on advertising to subscription-based models.

CANADA: News Media Canada Calls for Local Journalism Initiative Applications for Short-term and Freelance Projects

Businesswire: News Media Canada, the voice of Canada’s print and digital news media industry, is calling today for new applications to its Local Journalism Initiative program.

US: Being the ‘lone person in the room’ and how public media can help (Opinion – Paywall)


US: Defying forecasts, newspapers have retained public notices (and they’ve grown ever more critical to small papers’ survival)

Poynter Institute: A decade ago, in the midst of a dramatic decline in advertising revenue, predictions were rife that the newspaper industry would soon lose a pillar of its weakening business model — paid public notices. 

US: Maynard Institute’s Martin G. Reynolds on challenges facing Black journalists and how US media needs to change (Opinion)

CPJ: A year after the Maynard Institute’s founding in 1977 — originally as the Institute for Journalism Education — people of color made up 4% of journalists nationwide, according to the institute…

US: MEDIA: Colorado academics and experts join a battle over the U.S. Global Media agency

The Colorado Independent: Roughly two dozen Colorado academics and experts are calling for the state’s federal leaders to safeguard public funding for open-source technology projects. 

US: PBS Returns to the Rio Grande Valley

PBS: PBS has joined Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) to announce the return of public television in South Texas. This initiative was spearheaded by representatives from PBS, Entravision, and Rep. Gonzalez’s Congressional office to ensure that those in the Rio Grande Valley have access to PBS’s over-the-air programming.

US: PBS Strengthens Technology Leadership with the Promotions of Rhonda Holt and Scott Nourse

PBS: PBS  announced the promotions of Rhonda Holt to Senior Vice President, Information Technology and Scott Nourse to Senior Vice President, Product & Innovation. Working together, Rhonda and Scott will drive innovation in technology and digital as PBS continues to navigate a multiplatform media environment. 

US: PBS cuts jobs, changes up departments (Paywall)

Current: PBS reduced its staff headcount last week by about 6%, according to a memo obtained by Current. 

US: ‘People don’t stay where they don’t feel safe’: Public radio leaders address diversity in the industry (Paywall)

Current: Amid the Black Lives Matter protests, public radio stations have posted statements condemning racism and laying out their commitments to diversity. Meanwhile, people of color in public media have been sharing stories, especially on social media, about their experiences of racism and toxic workplaces in the industry.

US: TikTok: Chinese app may be banned in US, says Pompeo

BBC: Would you recommend downloading TikTok? Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked that question on Monday night on Fox News. “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party,” he replied.

US: US Judge Rules in Favor of CEO of US Agency for Global Media

Voice of America: A U.S. federal judge has ruled in favor of Michael Pack, the chief executive of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, in a lawsuit over Pack’s decision to fire the heads of government-funded international news agencies. 

US: WNYC Employees Demanded Diversity. They Got Another White Boss (Paywall)

The New York Times: The public radio stalwart vowed to fix what its journalists said was a toxic work culture. But the latest changes have led to a newsroom revolt.

Community Broadcaster: Turned Up

Radio World: Nationwide Black Lives Matter protests and police misconduct have hastened new conversations about race relations, from the White House to the boardroom to the control room. More media makers, including prominent organizations, are pledging to increase diversity in broadcasts and in staffing.

Facebook is working to persuade advertisers to abandon their boycott. So far, they aren’t impressed (Paywall)

The Washington Post: More than 750 advertisers are boycotting Facebook, asking for better policing of hateful content. Facebook’s concessions so far haven’t won them over.

Free public data: The lifeblood of press freedom (Resource)

Poynter: Let’s celebrate our freedom by finding and reporting information.

Global journalism is fighting for international development funding but shouldn’t need to. Especially now.

Poynter: As governments struggle in response to COVID-19, long-term investments in global media are needed to keep people safe and newsrooms healthy.

How the coronavirus pandemic is changing social media

RISJ: Joey D’Urso gives an overview of how platforms have responded to COVID-19 and how that response may evolve in the months ahead.

Journalists face archaic sanction of capital punishment in some parts of the world (Statement)

RSF: Four Yemeni journalists and an Iranian editor are under sentence death and await execution. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the use of the death penalty, an antiquated form of punishment, to threaten journalists in some parts of the world.

One Free Press: 10 Most Urgent Press Freedom Threats in July 2020

TIME: In light of [her] conviction, Ressa is at the top of the One Free Press Coalition — which includes nearly 40 news organizations, including TIME — list of the 10 most urgent cases threatening press freedom around the world.

Reuters plans to put many articles behind a paywall

TBN: Reuters is planning on putting many of its articles behind a subscription paywall, the news service told employees, reports Tim Dotan of The INformation.

Threats to media freedom and to work of journalists on the rise, said OSCE Media Freedom Representative Désir at Permanent Council meeting in Vienna

OSCE: The press is in danger in too many places in the OSCE region, said OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, as he presented his biannual report to the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna today. 

US: What comes after we get rid of objectivity in journalism?

Columbia Journalism Review: So is objectivity a relic? And if so, what should we replace it with? We got a group of journalists and other experts together on CJR’s Galley platform this week for a virtual panel discussion on those and other related questions.

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